Rock Valley Cemetery
Located on the corner of Rock Valley & Keyes Roads
Rock Valley Cemetery is a small cemetery with some early burials dating from the 1700s. Located almost on the Southampton line, there may be some interest for people with connections in that section of Hampshire County. Long overlooked, this cemetery has recently been brought back from severe neglect, thanks to volunteer effort. It is my understanding that the Forestdale Cemetery Association is now handling the care and maintenance of the cemetery. It should also be noted that the Forestdale Cemetery Association has no other information on burials nor any records other than what appear on these pages. Please see the map, below, for detailed location. Advice for visitors planning to visit Rock Valley Cemetery: bring your insect repellant.
I inventoried each of the existing stones through digital photographs, available for viewing on these pages. Once all discernable data was organized it was compared with a list of deaths extracted from listings in the West Springfield Vital Records to 1850, a copy of which was given to me by Mr. Cameron Bond, a gesture that turned out to be extremely helpful. The entries were compared and in some cases this list proved invaluable in helping determine inscriptions on some of the tombstones. Remember, Holyoke was not incorporated as a town until the year 1850, prior to that time most of what became Holyoke was a part of West Springfield. As you see will upon viewing the images, many stones are in very poor and worn condition, some are totally illegible, some are missing and/or broken. Capturing the detail in the stones was very difficult simply due to their condition. While some of the images may seem "fuzzy" it is in reality the condition of the subject.
The Inventory Data
The inventory may be seen here. In addtion I have listed some problematic records that were extracted from the West Springfield Vital Records to 1850 denoted as burials in the cemetery. This small group are individuals listed in the book, but unable to be connected to a stone. The stones are more than likely among those badly damaged, missing or worn beyond recognition. This list of Rock Valley Cemetery problems and issues is now available here.
Additions & Correction
Please let me know if there are additions or corrections. Maybe you are able to decipher some of the stones I am unable to read.
These documents are free for personal non-commercial use as long as a source is cited. Not for republishing: permission must be requested and granted in writing beforehand. Images are digitally watermarked and copyrighted. Thank you for respecting my hard work which is provided for you to access at no charge.
Please note on the map below CR-S (County Road South) and the Apremont Highway both connect with Route 202. If you were driving West on Route 202 from Holyoke, accessing either of these roads would be a right turn, and driving east from Westfield, the opposite.
© Laurel O'Donnell 1998 - 2005, all rights reserved
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